‘Westworld:’ Did Episode 5 Just Confirm This Reddit Theory About The Man In Black?

Episode 5 of HBO’s Westworld saw a small time glitch that had fans fall into two distinct categories; those that thought it pointed to duplicate hosts, and those who thought it confirmed a long-held theory on Reddit about the Man in Black.

Spoiler alert: This article discusses HBO’s Westworld. Please proceed with caution if you wish to avoid spoilers.

HBO’s Westworld is one of those television shows that is just perfect for the world of Reddit. For every question raised in an episode of Westworld, there is a theory on Reddit that has already broached the subject.

However, it was Episode 5 of Westworld that has possibly dropped the biggest reason to believe the Reddit theory that the Man in Black (Ed Harris) was once William (Jimmi Simpson).

HBO's 'Westworld,' Season 1, Episode 5
[Image by John P. Johnson/HBO]

Many fans of Westworld have taken to Reddit to discuss the fact they think William is a younger version of the Man in Black. This opens up the possibility that viewers will get the chance to see the naive William turn from a white hat-wearing good guy into the much darker Man in Black at some point in Westworld. This means that viewers are actually watching two different time frames in Westworld and that it is likely William occurred 30 years prior to the time frame involving Ed Harris’ Man in Black, as this character has referenced the fact he has been involved with Westworld for that amount of time.

The scene from Episode 5 of Westworld in question is when Lawrence (Clifton Collins, Jr.) is bled out by the Man in Black and then appears, in what seems like almost instantly, in a scene with Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood). Lawrence even gets a new name when Dolores meets him in Pariah. Although, later on, he does admit his new name is a ruse and Lawrence is his real name.

So why is this scene in Episode 5 of Westworld so important?

If you follow the Reddit theory that there are two concurrent time frames occurring in Westworld, then having Lawrence turn up in two different scenes in what appears to be too short a time to have him repaired and returned, indicate these two scenes could be occurring in different times.

As Revelist points out, there is plenty of evidence revealed on Reddit by dedicated fans indicating William and the Man in Black are the same people and occupying time frames that could be 30 years apart in Westworld.

And, if Lawrence really was drained of blood and also turned up in a scene with William and Dolores not long after that, it could show that the time frame between these two characters is certainly different. While Dolores has been shown in scenes with both William and the Man in Black, considering she is a host and does not age, means there could be dependencies in the time frames.

Another indicator that there might be two time frames present is the two logos shown for Westworld. William has been shown with a logo of Westworld when he enters the park that is different to the one seen behind the scenes. Could this also prove that Westworld is running in different time frames?

HBO's Westworld logo differences
[Image by HBO]

The other favored theory about this scene from Episode 5 of Westworld is more simple: there are multiple copies of each host. This theory actually makes a lot of sense from a logistical perspective. Could you imagine just how hard it would be to repair hosts as they are damaged in order to return them to their story loops so they do not inhibit the loops of other hosts? Many Reddit users have already wondered why there is not more evidence suggesting there are multiple copies of each host.

But, what do the people behind Westworld say about all these Reddit theories?

Casey Bloys, HBO’s new president of programming, recently told Variety that many fans are getting close with their Westworld theories.

“There are a lot of theories out there, and with some of them, I’ve been very impressed with how they’ve constructed the guesses. I’ll just say, they’re getting close.”

Do you think William is a younger version of the Man in Black? Let us know your thoughts and theories by commenting below.

Episode 6 (entitled “The Adversary “) of Westworld will air on HBO on Sunday, November 6 at 9:00 p.m. The synopsis is below.

“Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) joins William (Jimmi Simpson) and Logan (Ben Barnes) on a bounty hunt; The Man in Black (Ed Harris) finds a critical clue in his search to unlock the maze; Dr. Ford (Anthony Hopkins) and Theresa (Sidse Babett Knudsen) discuss the park’s future; Maeve (Thandie Newton) is troubled by a recurring vision.”

[Featured Image by John P. Johnson/HBO]